In this material world, according to the Vedic scriptures, there are 84,00,000 species of life. Among them there are 4,00,000 species of human begins. All the living beings are busy, working to fulfill their bodily demands – eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
Human beings have developed intelligence. They can solve the problems of life: birth, death, old age and diseases. But due to ignorance of the self, the modern civilization is trying to satisfy the bodily demands and is neglecting the primary goal of life – devotional service to the Lord. In order to understand the goal of life and get a permanent solution to all problems, one has to approach a bonafide spiritual master.
Srila Prabhupada explains in a lecture:
“Nobody knows what the ultimate goal of life is. They think that, “We have got this body, and let us enjoy the senses to the fullest extent. That is the highest perfection of life.” Get some material education – technologist, or something else, material education – get some good post, get good salary, and eat nicely, drink nicely, and enjoy your senses. This is perfection of life. This is going on all over the world. But that is not the goal of life. Therefore, because that is not the goal of life, and we know that this is goal of life, therefore we require the enlightenment from a bona fide spiritual master. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet samit-panih srotriyam [MU 1.2.12]. That is the Vedic instruction. In order to learn that transcendental science, you must approach a bona fide spiritual master.”
Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami’s Appearance Day— Vrindavana, October 19, 1972.The human form of life is especially meant for making progress in spiritual life. This is the verdict of the revealed scriptures. It is said by Prahlada Maharaja in Srimad Bhagavatam
Prahlada Maharaja said: “One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.”
Srila Prabhupada explains in a lecture as follows:
“The injunction in the Bhagavad-gita is that tad viddhi, try to understand. Not try, but must try. The human life is meant for understanding tattva, the Absolute Truth. That is the special advantage of the human life. If a human being does not inquire or he’s not trained up to inquire about it, it is a great disadvantage and it is enviousness. In the human life, the chance is there to make a solution of the whole problem, struggle for existence, survival of the fittest. This is going on life after life. Now here is a chance, human life, he can understand what is the goal of life and how to achieve it. He can be trained up. So if that opportunity is refused to the human society by the guardians, by the government, it is a great mis-service, a great disadvantage. To keep them in darkness of animal propensities… Because we are changing our body, here is a chance, after many evolutionary processes, many thousands and millions of years. We are going to the park. How many plants and creepers are there, how many animals, how many aquatics? We have to come through all these processes, evolutionary process. So here is a chance. Therefore for the human being it is advised that try to understand the goal of your life. Tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet samit-panih srotriyam [MU 1.2.12]. That is Vedic instruction. Must try. So from the very beginning, if children are not trained up to inquire about the goal of life, they are kept in darkness, simply eat, drink, be merry and enjoy, that is not civilization. They must be trained up. The opportunity must be given so that he can inquire more and more about the goal of life.”
Sri Caitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 20.103 —Washington, D.C., July 8, 1976.Since we are part and parcels of the Lord, it is natural for all living beings to render loving devotional service to the Lord. For example, it is natural for all the limbs of the body to cooperate and work for the pleasure of the stomach.
As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.Hence for rendering devotional service to the Lord, every one must cooperate with each other. This must be the goal of one’s family, nation and the entire human society at large.
“In this material world, to render service to the lotus feet of Govinda, the cause of all causes, and to see Him everywhere, is the only goal of life. This much alone is the ultimate goal of human life, as explained by all the revealed scriptures.”
Srila Prabhupada explains:
“Devotional service to the Lord is the highest goal of life for every human being, and such devotional service begins by hearing about the transcendental activities of the Personality of Godhead.”Devotional service can be rendered in any condition and at any stage of life. One can continue his occupation and still begin his devotion or bhakti to the Lord. One must just try to learn the techniques of how to render devotion to the Lord by approaching a spiritual master. The spiritual master is expert in guiding the surrendered disciple according to his inclinations so that the devotee may achieve the ultimate goal of life.
In Bhagavad-gita 3.30 Lord Krishna says:
Therefore, O Arjuna, surrendering all your works unto Me, with mind intent on Me, and without desire for gain and free from egoism and lethargy, fight.
Srila Prabhupada explains the purport of this verse as follows:
This verse clearly indicates the purpose of the Bhagavad-gita. The Lord instructs that one has to become fully Krishna conscious to discharge duties, as if in military discipline. Such an injunction may make things a little difficult; nevertheless duties must be carried out, with dependence on Krishna, because that is the constitutional position of the living entity. The living entity cannot be happy independent of the cooperation of the Supreme Lord because the eternal constitutional position of the living entity is to become subordinate to the desires of the Lord. Arjuna was, therefore, ordered by Sri Krishna to fight as if the Lord were his military commander. One has to sacrifice everything for the good will of the Supreme Lord, and at the same time discharge prescribed duties without claiming proprietorship. Arjuna did not have to consider the order of the Lord; he had only to execute His order. The Supreme Lord is the Soul of all souls; therefore, one who depends solely and wholly on the Supreme Soul without personal consideration, or in other words, one who is fully Krishna conscious, is called adhyatma-chetasa. Nirasih means that one has to act on the order of the master. Nor should one ever expect fruitive results. The cashier may count millions of dollars for his employer, but he does not claim a cent for himself. Similarly, one has to realize that nothing in the world belongs to any individual person, but that everything belongs to the Supreme Lord. That is the real purport of mayi, or “unto Me”. And when one acts in such Krishna consciousness, certainly he does not claim proprietorship over anything. This consciousness is called nirmama, or nothing is mine. And, if there is any reluctance to execute such a stern order which is without consideration of so-called kinsmen in the bodily relationship, that reluctance should be thrown off; in this way one may become vigata-jvara, or without feverish mentality or lethargy. Everyone, according to his quality and position, has a particular type of work to discharge, and all such duties may be discharged in Krishna consciousness, as described above. That will lead one to the path of liberation.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.28-29 it is said:
“In the revealed scriptures, the ultimate object of knowledge is Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead. The purpose of performing sacrifice is to please Him. Yoga is for realizing Him. All fruitive activities are ultimately rewarded by Him only. He is supreme knowledge, and all severe austerities are performed to know Him. Religion [dharma] is rendering loving service unto Him. He is the supreme goal of life.”
We must realize our original constitutional position, in relation with the Lord. There are five principal relations that a living entity can have with the Lord, namely:
Shanta – neutrality
Dasya – servitorship
Sakhya – fraternity
Vatsalya – filial affection
Madhurya – conjugal love
It is the duty of every human being to realize his original relation with the Lord under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual master.
In a lecture, Srila Prabhupada explains:
“Without love, you cannot think of Krishna. That is not possible. So as soon as you think of Krishna, there is a tinge of love, must be there. So as you increase your thinking of Krishna, then you increase your love of Krishna. That is recommended by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That is our ultimate goal of life. Prema pum-artho mahan. Prema pum-artho mahan.”By following the process of Krishna consciousness, one can easily achieve the goal of life. Krishna consciousness is very easy to practice and it is very sublime process. We simply have to chant the names of Krishna, dance in front of the Deity of Krishna and honour the remnants of food offered to Krishna.
Srila Prabhupada explains in his lectures:
“This Krishna consciousness movement is another chance for changing the company, the society. Here in the temple, those who are coming and associating with us, now, we chant, we talk about God, we hear authoritative scriptures like Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and we distribute prasadam, and we chant, we dance, we restrict ourself, we restrain ourself. We do not allow illicit sex. We do not, I mean to say, take any intoxicants. We do not indulge in gambling. We do not indulge in meat-eating. Similarly, we are trying to form character and God consciousness, Krishna consciousness. So therefore it is not that this society is opened for exploiting others. This society is for giving good association.”
“So our only request is that you try to understand this Krishna consciousness movement. It is very simple. We are requesting everyone to chant the Hare Krishna mantra and take prasadam. When you are tired of chanting, the prasadam is ready. Immediately you can take prasadam. And if you dance, then all of the bodily exercise is Krishnized, and all of the attempts of the yoga processes are attained by this simple process. So chant, dance, take prasadam. Even if you do not hear at first this philosophy, it will act, and you will be elevated to the highest platform of perfection.”
Ratha-yatra lecture at The Family Dog Auditorium — San Francisco, July 27, 1969.Because human society is meant for advancing in the goal of life, and that goal of life is Krishna consciousness. So Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says… That is the sublime gift of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But Lord Chaitanya, by His grace, by this sankirtana movement, He very easily distributed this love of Krishna. Therefore He is called namo maha-vadanyaya: “My dear Lord, You are the most magnificent, munificent personality, incarnation, because, Krishna-prema-pradaya te [Cc. Madhya 19.53], “You are distributing Krishna-prema, love of Krishna, the most important thing, the goal of life.” And that was the mission of Lord Chaitanya.
Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.6-9 — Montreal, June 23, 1968
“As stated by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the highest perfection in life is to develop one’s love for Krishna
Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 7.84Purport
In conclusion, the goal of life is, to realize God – Lord Krishna, understand our relation with him and be engaged constantly in rendering loving devotion unto Him. All this can be achieved by surrendering to a spiritual master and following his instructions sincerely and seriously.”